Gardenhire, Girardi, Manuel facing pressure

Published 9:50 am Thursday, February 28, 2013

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have had all of two managers over the last quarter-century, so it’s a bit startling to see Ron Gardenhire beginning the last year of his contract, his job seemingly on the line after back-to-back seasons of more than 95 losses.

Of course, Gardenhire isn’t alone. Four years after winning the World Series, Joe Girardi is in the final season of his deal with the New York Yankees. Don Mattingly is in a similar situation with the Dodgers — and even Walt Weiss, who just took over the Colorado Rockies in November, is signed for only a year.

Every season, a handful of managers find themselves under increased pressure, and 2013 is no different. Sometimes a struggling team wants to keep its options open, or perhaps a contender starts losing patience. A manager facing the end of his contract isn’t necessarily doomed, but these next few months will be crucial for some of baseball’s biggest names.

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